For nearly 30 years, Michael Musto’s column in The Village Voice was a must-read for New Yorkers. Critical, catty and always contemporary, it was finger on the pulse of culture high and low, and a finger in the eye of any celebrity who took himself too seriously. Musto first made a name for himself in the 80s, when the downtown New York scene was at its peak of flamboyance and grit. It was also a battleground for gay rights, and Musto, an openly gay man, was a fierce voice for equality. Through it all, his scathing, celeb-skewering wit abides. Little surprise that a writer whose award-winning columns include “Fame Is Better Than Drugs And I Want To Mainline That Sh*t” got along famously with Andy when they met in the 80s.
Today Musto writes a weekly column called “Musto! The Musical!” on Out.com as well as a regular interview feature called “Next Question with Michael Musto” on Gawker. Here, he talks about his friendship with Andy, and the time they devised an unorthodox way to stuff a bra.
What was your first Warholian moment, and when did you first encounter him?
He was everywhere I went in the late 70s. I was way too shy to approach him. I was so awestruck I didn’t even know that was a wig. Once we finally spoke, in the ‘80s, he was delightful.
What or who would be Andy’s muse if he were alive today?
What are your latest cultural obsessions?
Debbie Reynolds’ memoir, Alvin Ailey, gay rights
What would you consider Warhol’s most memorable quote or anthem?
If you could collaborate with Andy on a project, what would it be?
A disaster movie we once discussed doing! One of the characters was a crazed actress who carried her two Oscars around in her bra. This never got beyond the early stages, but I feel the time is right for ’13.
Dream dinner-party: You, Warhol, and…?
No one else! I’d want to be alone with his wit and wisdom. No way would I share it with some loser.
Imagine Warhol had a Twitter account. What kind of thing might he say in 140 characters or less?
Whose portrait would Andy most want to do now?
Soup can or coke bottle?
Drag every day or only on special occasions?
Every day is a special occasion, so I’d say drag every day.
See and bid on Christie’s gay pride-themed collection of Warhol’s drawings and photographs, “For Members Only: Eyes on the Guise,” on sale in an exclusive online auction, June 13-27.